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Development of a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform and Think tank to promote innovation with Nature based solutions

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ThinkNature (Development of a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform and Think tank to promote innovation with Nature based solutions)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2019-11-30

"ThinkNature is a Coordination Support Action project designed to coordinate and support the uptake of nature-based solution (NBS) and in this way contribute towards the European Commission's double goal of economic growth and sustainability. NBS are promising alternatives to address global challenges linked to climate change, sustainable energy, food security, and economic and social development. NBS aim to help societies to address a variety of environmental, social and economic challenges in sustainable ways. They are actions which are inspired by, supported by or copied from nature. Nature-based solutions are faced as alternative highly promising means of dealing with challenges linked to climate change, sustainable energy, food security, and economic and social development. Four major domains are: Sustainable Urbanisation of Cities, Restoration of Ecosystems, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Risk Management and Resilience.

The main objective of ThinkNature ""is the development of a multi-stakeholder communication platform that will support the understanding and the promotion of nature based solutions. Through dialogue uptake, facilitation and steering mechanisms as well as knowledge capacity building, the ThinkNature Platform will bring together multi-disciplinary scientific expertise, policy, business and society, as well as citizens."" The specific objectives are:
1. Development of an Internet based communication platform to support the effective interaction of the various stakeholders for all NBS domains.
2. Coordinate and support dialogue steering actions and brainstorming sessions for NBS domains and priorities in order to improve understanding for further research and innovation.
3. Identify challenges as well as regulatory, economic and technical barriers by widely deployed interviews and questionnaires in order to find ways to support stakeholders’ decision making mechanisms for adoption of NBS.
4. Improve understanding of the relevant actors regarding the actual and potential impact of NBS by developing an Internet based portfolio and Handbook.
5. Enable and mobilise the adoption of NBS by fostering dialogue with key strategic international partners.
6. Coordinate and support the necessary actions that will provide a significant market up-take of NBS.
7. Effective dissemination of project research, innovation outcomes and leadership build-up in the field of NBS
8. Mobilize organisations, experts, policy and regulatory stakeholders as well as market actors, to follow up on the coordination and support actions, advise its planning, and actively share its results in their professional working contexts and networks.
9. Cooperate with Universities, industrial players, policy stakeholders and local authorities to design and implement meaningful and successful training seminars.
10. Reach out to and raise awareness regarding project findings and outputs among stakeholders at both European and International levels.

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"A brief overview of the achievements follows:
1. Development of the ThinkNature platform - The platform is an integrated multi-stakeholder web solution designed to stir dialogue & interaction on NbS through discussion forums and debates in order to identify regulatory, economic & technical barriers and to communicate & promote successful NbS. https://platform.think-nature.eu/.
2. Stakeholder Engagement
a) Organizational structure of the Regional Think and Do Tanks and the Local Representatives - These have been established to influence policy ideas and decisions concerning NBS and provide input from their local area concerning the NBS technologies, the market aspects, the policy and regulatory framework.
b) Brainstorming Forum and Dialogue on sustainable urbanization and degraded ecosystems was organized in A Coruña and on addressing major societal changes: climate change and risk management in Paris.
c) Barrier landscape and policy analysis was conducted using a variety of methodologies and the results are reported in four deliverables.
3. NBS Capacity Building
a. Development of the NBS Case study Portfolio with 111 Case studies to improve our understanding of the impact of NBS.
b. The ThinkNature Handbook on NbS - It gathered state-of-the-art knowledge to promote NbS. A comprehensive guide that includes methodologies from project development to financing and policy making, and is presented in a concise and comprehensive way, in order to be easily understandable.
c. Expert Interview videos - The ThinkNature project organized a series of short video interviews recorded with conference participants during the H2020 Clustering Action ""Transforming Cities, Enhancing Well-being: innovating with nature-based solutions"".
d. ThinkNature Webinars - ThinkNature organized a series of four webinars covering a wide range of NbS aspects regarding design and implementation: 1. NbS: Concept, Practices and Benefits, 2. Technology and Practice of NbS, 3. Financing and Business Models for NbS, and 4. Governance Models for NbS: Policies, Strategies and Decision-Making Mechanisms.
e. ThinkNature Summer School -The ThinkNature project organized a week-long, hand-on summer school focused on NbS. The program consisted of two days of inspirational talks and discussions.
f. Game App – The ThinkNature project developed this Game App as part of the demonstrators, which serve as introductory, explanatory and dissemination material towards all interested parties.
4. The Business Case for NBS - . The ThinkNature project developed the SITE4NBS and RISE4NBS methodologies that together illustrate a strategic process framework used for identifying the key elements of a project needed to develop an NbS business case. Examples of the application of the methodology are included in the deliverables
5. An International collaboration strategy has been developed aiming at establishing the business case of NbS. ThinkNature has established α list of 126 International partners and organizations for potential synergy to promote NbS dialogue and create market synergies for Europe.
6. ThinkNature is promoting the clustering of the activities of the NbS demo projects by coordinating the dialogue on the four taskforces dealing with data management, indicators, business and governance and communication."
The major achievements/impacts of the ThinkNature project have been published at the Project Repository Journal http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pu pages 56-59, they are related to the following four areas:
1. The development of a successful ThinkNature Platform,
2. Activities with stakeholder engagement,
3. NBS capacity building, and
4. The business case of NBS.
The impact of ThinkNature to date can be summarized as follows:
1. Establishing the Science case for NBS through the NBS Classification, the case study portfolio and the barriers to NBS implementation,
2. Establishing a community of practice through the ThinkNature Platform, the regional networks and the brainstorming forums
3. Developing the financial tools to illustrate the business case of NBS.
All the deliverables are available on-line on the ThinkNature Platform https://platform.think-nature.eu/project-deliverables
The ThinkNature Platform homepage (https://platform.think-nature.eu/)